Monday, February 28, 2011

Gotcha Day recap!

Monday started very, very early... 4:30 wake up, 5:40 on the way to the Beijing airport for the flight to Changsha.  Mark and I had barely slept so the early morning didn't bother me that much.  We were sad to say goodbye to our travel group-- we have really enjoyed getting to know them and love the smaller group atmosphere.  (Looking forward to seeing them and their new little ones in GZ!)   

We had a very pleasant, uneventful flight to Changsha-- I love Air China, give me a Chinese airline anytime over American ones.  Bigger seats, more legroom, good food and wonderful service.  Arrived Changsha just before noon, met our guide Mamie, and headed for the Hua Tian Hotel to unpack and get ready for the big moment.  Lunch at the hotel's "Food Street" was rather, um, daunting, which did not help my nervous tummy. (See the previous post for all the gory details!)

We headed out to the Civil Affairs office at 3 pm, and arrived about 3:20.  I was a basketcase of nerves, Mark was calm, and AK was super-excited to finally meet her big sister. I completely forgot to get out the Flip video camera so unfortunately we did not get video of the big moment.  When we stepped off the elevator I saw a jumping girl in a pink coat peeking out of the waiting room.  TingTing-- of course!  She was really hyper and once she stopped hopping around she gave AK a lollipop from her backpack. That was all she had with her, a pink backpack with the gifts we'd sent her and a few snacks.  We said hi to her and let AK take the lead by giving her the backpack we'd brought to her with some goodies inside.  Of course the next few minutes were a blur of questions for the orphanage director and nanny, watching Ting Ting, and feeling a bit overwhelmed.  TT seemed really excited to be with us.  AK was so caught up in the excitement that she had a rare accident and ended up with wet clothes for the rest of the appointment.  She was so upset, and I was trying to comfort her while paying attention to TT.  TT is so cute, extremely lovable, and working hard to communicate with us.  Already she is helpful with AK and they are becoming buddies.  

We headed out to the hotel and that was when we learned that TT was suffering from a bad case of motion sickness, and as we came to realize, nerves.  She was sick almost as soon as we got to the hotel, plus we had to change rooms, so things were a total circus for the next few hours.  We ate a chaotic dinner at the buffet -- Ting Ting careened between all the choices-- and she ate a good-sized dinner.  Mark and I were absolutely exhausted by that point.  But when we got back to the room the events of the day hit her hard and she grieved terribly.  Suffice it to say that it was a tough night for us all.  She threw up again and when we went to get ready for bed she broke down completely.  We ended up having her talk with our guide a bit to calm her down and she and I went for a walk together around the hotel, which ended up being a sweet time together.  She still cried herself to sleep, which broke our hearts.  If we are scared at all the changes imagine what it would be like for her.  I thought I was prepared to handle the grief moments but the reality is very hard to see, especially in an older child.   She is such a brave and spunky girl.

 I love love LOVE how AK is looking at her new sister in this picture!--A

 Checking out the contents of her new backpack

 Sisters giggling

Family of four!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 2 of touring-Great Wall

 Blogging is harder this time (shocker)!  Working on post still.  Sleep has trumped all.  Plus we have just finished re-packing for the flight to Changsha and cable to upload pics is buried deep in luggage.   We didn't see much of the GW this time... snow and ice made it too difficult to navigate.  There were crazy Chinese women there in heels, as usual!!  Mark took AK up a bit further than I went and it kinda freaked me out, but they had a great time.  Too snowy for much a view, though. 

 Monday morning, 2 am here... we have all been up since 12:30.  Our sleep schedules are so messed up, esp. AK, despite efforts to adjust.  We have to be up at 4:30 am because we have really early flights so we have time to go to the hotel before the big moment.  It seems surreal that we are only about 12ish hours away from meeting Olivia at last.  We went to the Peking Acrobat show last night and it was incredible.  Poor AK was of course scared and spent the show with ears plugged, sucking on Bobo, and wailing when a particularly scary costume -- or the clown-- appeared.  She was mesmerized the rest of the time and said she liked it afterwards.  Ha.  She also slept the last 10 min of the show.  

Mark is currently mesmerized by a horrible 90's movie called "Hackers" with Angelina Jolie looking extra freaky w/ short hair.  LOLOL.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

First day of touring Beijing

 Allison's new favorite picture of AK--LOVE IT!

The day was great, but exhausting and cold!!!  Forbidden City and Summer Palace beautiful but frozen... crowds smaller which is nice.  The food is sooooooo good- feel like I am eating a ton.  AK has been pretty adventurous which is cool.  We went to a tea tasting yesterday and that may replace coffee in my affections.  AK is the toast of our travel group.  Our guide, Sherry, even got her some (cheap) pearls at the pearl market yesterday.  Mark treated me to some nice pearls!!  Gorgeous, pink ones.  We really like our group-- just 4 families so far which is nice.  Everyone is returning for a second or third child except one couple.  They are adopting a 4 year old, and are Chinese- American (grew up in Malaysia).  and fluent in Mandarin which has helped!  AK lasted through most of yesterday's sightseeing but crashed harder than I've ever seen her at about 4, while we were at the summer palace.  She slept through the tea tasting and dinner, and basically through the night.  
She and the other family's little boy Jonah are big buddies already and like holding hands in their strollers.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Taking the liberty.....

Hello, Kimberly's readers!  This is Allison!  Kimberly and I have been emailing since they arrived in China and she is having trouble posting to the blog and is too tired to figure out the proxy servers and VPN and a bunch of other technical gobbledygook that I don't really understand.  I told her I was going to take the liberty of paraphrasing her emails to me and post them here for now.  She is going to email me posts (and PICTURES!) so I can then put them on the blog. I also took the liberty of adding myself as a contributor to this blog. :)  I think I will create new posts for each email so that way it will be organized for her when they get home.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


  • 5 more sleeps to TingTing  (AK's way of counting down)
  • 4 packed suitcases (but I think we're going to have to suck it up and pay for 5 checked bags in China.  It's HARD to pack for both snow and 75 degree temps, plus all the gear needed for a 3 year old and a 10 year old!)
  • 3 excited people ( me, Mark, AK)
  • 2 exhausted parents  (Who needs sleep?? )
  • 1  more day until we leave for... CHINA and our Olivia Ruth YuTing!!
Olivia Day should be Monday, 2/28!!  

Happy birthday, Ting Ting!

Ting Ting's tenth birthday was last Thursday... just one week before we are scheduled to leave for China to meet her and bring her home.  

We were blessed to receive new photos of her birthday party-- on her actual birthday, can you believe it??--  and a letter she wrote to us just after the New Year.  She was rather chatty in the letter, and told us all about a big snow they had in Hunan and how much she ate at the celebrations for the Spring Festival.  

The best part, though, was when she said she was happy to be joining our family. 

We've wondered how she felt.  After all, the nerves and excitement are about equal for Mark and me, and we are not leaving behind all we've ever known to start a new life.  It's one thing to wish for a family, and another to be facing the inevitable changes and challenges.   We are happy, and praying that she will be, with us. 

We are so excited and thankful to be Ting Ting's family.  Only FIVE more sleeps (as Anna Kathryn would say) until we meet Ting Ting!!!